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Home Healthcare: An Attractive Alternative

By Michael Plontz, Staff Writer

(Page 1 of 2)

The majority of caregivers would like to keep their loved ones as close to them as possible. Itís a way to gain better control over their care and studies show that loved ones often fair better in familiar surroundings. However, giving care in the home can be a little overwhelming while trying to keep up with lifeís other responsibilities. Home healthcare may be the answer.

Home healthcare can provide the whole gamut from healthcare to social services to patients in familiar, comfortable surroundingsónamely the patientís home or the home of their caregiver. Not only is care given by a professional, but the family is educated on a variety of subjects in order to better equip them to care for their loved one. It helps give the loved one a greater sense of independence while keeping the family together. These services are available for all health problems, all ages, and for as long as an hour or around the clock.

Home healthcare is not limited to nursing care and physical therapy, but may include homemaking services such as food shopping and preparation, doing laundry, and housekeeping. Social services include helping families cope with the unique set of problems associated with caring for an elderly or sick person. Other services may include hospicee or respite care. hospicee services deal with the social, emotional and physical care of terminally ill patients and their families. Respite care may include equipment service, home-delivered meals, and transportation and escort programs.

Home healthcare is usually a team effort. Licensed practical nurses, home health aides and registered nurses are the part of the team that travels to and from the residence to provide healthcare. Specialists like dieticians, physical therapists or speech therapists may be needed also. A physician may be involved to outline specific care needs. Homemakers, chore workers, and volunteers may be employed to deal with the non-medical care of the loved one and their residence.

As with all endeavors, knowledge is the most powerful tool with which to be equipped. There has been some controversy lately concerning criminals who are licensed home health aides and those working as aides who are not even licensed. The following questions should be helpful in making a home health care decision.

These questions should at least get you started on your quest to find the best and most affordable home healthcare available. Remember, home healthcare does not mean that you canít handle it anymore. It does mean that you recognize your limitations and you need help. Home healthcare lets loved ones maintain some independence while allowing you to have help maintaining your loved one.


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